Say the word “party,” and kids come running. Children love parties. So combine one of their favorite events with a biblical theme to make “Bible-Based Bashes.”
Bible-based bashes create enthusiasm, boost attendance and give everyone a change of pace. Before you start, lay your bash on a firm foundation of prayer. Then design your bash so children have a good time rooted in the Word.
Your Bible-based bash needs each of the following elements. See how each of these elements fits into a Bible-based bash around the theme of Moses.
Central theme — Your theme can be based on a biblical hero, event, concept or holiday. Why not have a party focused on Jonah, the Flood, love or Easter? Our theme for Moses is “Moses’ Madness.”
Invitations — What’s a party without an eye-catching invitation? Use clip art books or your artistic abilities to make creative fliers, posters and banners. Grab kids’ attention and curiosity with a catchy theme or heading. Here’s one for Moses’ Madness-written on paper “tablets of stone”: “Come and escape the perilous plagues, wander through the wilderness, munch on manna and enter the Promised Land!”
Location — Get out of the church for your Bible-based bash. Search for unusual locations that fit your theme. Use parks, barns, beaches, lakes, rivers and mountains. Moses’ Madness could be held on a football field or in a parking lot.
Decorations — These are crucial to create the biblical theme. You can use boxes to create a biblical city, sheets and parachutes for heaven, or fishing nets for walls and ceilings. Create Mount Sinai with a brown blanket over a ladder, the Red Sea with wading pools, and the camp with tents.
Helpers — You’ll need more help than usual. Recruit parents, church members and even high school students. Meet with your helpers before your bash to let them know what’ll be happening and what they’re expected to do.
Activities — Your bash needs tons of lively activities. Use regular games and give them a biblical twist. Any ordinary game can be altered to become a Bible-based game with just a little imagination. Children love the newness added to a familiar game, and there’s less confusion when explaining the rules.
For example, make Tag fit your theme. Make “It” a persecutor and the others Christians. Or make “It” Samson and the others the Philistines. In Moses’ Madness, “It” is Pharaoh while the others are the Israelites.
A relay can also fit your theme. In Moses’ Madness, the relay relates to the 10 plagues. Kids must race to all the stations that relate to the 10 plagues-a fly swatter must be swatted for the plague of flies, apply a bandage for the plague of boils, throw small ice cubes for hail, and so on.
Capture the Flag can be changed to Capture the Fish or Capture the Rock. In Moses’ Madness, play Capture the Grapes (that the spies saw in the Promised Land).
Bible story — Make this brief and interesting to hold kids’ attention. Present the story as a skit, a puppet play or an interactive role-play. For Moses’ Madness, have kids sit by a tent while Moses, Aaron, Caleb and Joshua tell their stories.
Food — Have fun adjusting food to fit your theme. For Moses’ Madness, you could serve pita bread as unleavened bread or chicken wings as quail. You could also serve an entire Passover meal.
Favors — Give kids novelties from a Christian bookstore. Or better yet, have kids make crafts to take home as reminders. For Moses’ Madness, make the tablets of stone out of plaster of Paris.
Janel Kauffman is an elementary school teacher in Florida.